Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, November 15, 2007

An OA journal spells out its access policy

The Python Papers has released a Statement on Open Access.  PP is an OA journal devoted to the Python programming language.  From the new statement:

The Python Papers has received a number of inquiries relating to the republishing of articles from the journal, especially in the context of open-access repositories. Each issue of The Python Papers is released under a Creative Commons 2.5 license, subject to Attribution, Non-commercial and Share-Alike clauses. This, in short, provides a carte blanche on republishing articles, so long as the source of the article is fully attributed, the article is not used for commercial purposes and that the article is republished under this same license....

Archiving Articles in Open-Access Repositories

The Python Papers was asked about the official policy towards authors archiving their journal articles into open-access repositories, especially institutional repositories.

We believe it is clear from the distribution license that this is clearly permitted....

If the general license is not compatible with the goals of any particular open-access repository, we would encourage publishers to contact us to organise special permission.

Drafts, pre-prints, post-prints and other alternative versions of articles ...

The editors of The Python Papers need to be sure that drafts and alternative versions - which may or may not be decorated with a Creative Commons licence and/or reference to The Python Papers - cannot be confused with the final, approved version we published.

The license under which each issue is released covers only the final, approved version. Especially for academic papers, The Python Papers believes it is inappropriate for article pre-prints to be published as though they had met the academic review process. As such, we would be unlikely to give permission for authors submitting academic papers to publish a draft, pre-print or revision of the final version. Articles which are submitted as nonacademic are not subject to the same peer-review standards, but published articles are still a reflection of the standard of The Python Papers as a whole. Permission may be specially granted in some cases, but we require authors and other publishers to contact us on a case-by-case basis....

What kinds of repositories may use content from The Python

The Python Papers has been asked to clarify whether its position on article re-use is different for university institutional repositories, personal websites, or other repositories.

Any institution may include abstracts and meta-information in their databases. However, they may not necessarily be able to hold actual copies of The Python Papers....Any repository which is not run on a commercial basis may freely and without special permission use content from The Python Papers. This may include a university institutional repository, if that repository does not operate on a commercial basis. If, however, the institution requires a payment before content may be accessed, they are not permitted to use content from The Python Papers....

Comment.  I appreciate this kind of explicitness (and have previously called for it).  However, the statement seems to prohibit authors from self-archiving preprints and revised versions of the postprint, even when they make clear that they are not the same as the published edition.  That restriction is unnecessary and hard to reconcile with the CC-BY-NC-SA license.